Last of the NYC Leathermen



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The Eagle NYC is the last great outpost of New York’s gay leather scene. Once the hardest, burliest, most cruisinest members of the gay community here and everywhere, Leathermen’s ranks were hit especially hard by AIDS in the 80s and 90s. Where the side streets of the West Village and Chelsea once swarmed with glistening, hairy chests and bulging jeans, like some neverending Tom of Finland mural, these days the scene is but a faded denim shadow of its former self.


Since finding a solid clutch of Leathermen in New York nowadays is harder than getting a leprechaun to make eye contact with you at the Central Park Ramble, we went into the Eagle, basically the Leatherman’s Alamo, to meet the surviving members of this once-mighty subculture and learn the tricks of their rough trade. Please be mindful of the hanky code while watching this video, and, of course, no khakis, sneakers, or fragrances.

Hosted by Thomas Morton | Originally aired in 2007 on

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